Tora to Ookami – Review

I accidentally read the whole thing.

I didn’t mean to, honestly. I stumbled across Tora to Ookami by KAMIO Youko while in search of a weekly manga to add to our podcast. I started reading it out of curiosity and then, 12 chapters (50-45 pages each) later, I think I have to admit that maybe I might have enjoyed it.

tora-to-ookami-l0

I’m not normally a shojo reader, but the premise of this intrigued me.  The heroine is Mii, a high schooler (‘natch) who works at her grandmother’s diner and writes a BL (Boy Love aka m/m) fan fic.

One day, two beautiful college-age boys stumble into her diner, kind of literally–Tora hasn’t eaten having gotten caught up in a painting and Ookami has staged an intervention of sorts.

At first sight, Mii instantly imagines them as the perfect couple, the Wolf, Ookami an heir to a food court fortune (eh? that’s a thing?), as the seme, and the Tiger, Tora, the artist, as the uke.  The truth is more complicated than that, though the mangaka has a tremendous amount of fun playing around with that assumption–which nearly EVERYONE makes.

As expected, Mii becomes entangled in the boys’ lives and romantic hijinx ensue.

I have no idea what exactly sucked me into this story.  The art is very… shojo.  It’s not bad, but… the boys really do get little floral patters around them (I kind of thought that Girls’ Monthly Nozaki-kun made that up!)     I find Tora fairly passable handsome:

 tora-to-ookami-5086141

I think, however, if I’m honest, the reason I ended up reading the whole thing is because I’m secretly kind of fond of slice-of-life stories, especially when they include Japanese FOOD.  (A very odd weakness of mine, I think.)

In this manga, you also get an inside look at the life of a high school teacher, which is interesting, particularly given how many manga take place at schools. Like, if this manga is to be believed, sensei are sometimes expected to involve themselves in student’s lives outside of school–like they might get called to break-up a fight at a convenience store.  (Makes me suddenly very worried about Ichigo’s teachers.)

Similarly, there’s some bits about art, traditional Japanese painting, in particular, that kind of kept me going.

Could I recommend Tora to Ookami? Possibly. I would say that milage may vary depending on how you feel about romantic comedies in general. I sort of liked that our heroine had two men that she admired for different reasons who also cared deeply about each other.  It almost made for a plausible threesome, though the most recent chapter makes it clear that’s not in the works.

I should note that MangaPanda lists Tora to Ookami as completed, but MangaHere seems to think it’s on-going.  The confusing part is that I could see the final chapter as a possible end, even though it leaves a lot up in the air.  I signed myself up for an alert on MangaHere, so if another one does publish I’ll review that as one of my many on-going monthly manga.

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